Extended Benefit Triggers
Mathematica Policy Research
This report responds to a request from Congress to the Department of Labor to examine the implications of using alternative triggers for extended UI benefits based on the insured unemployment rate (IUR)-the unemployment rate among the population covered by the UI program-and the total unemployment rate (TUR)-the unemployment rate among the entire population. Most importantly the report finds that the TUR based trigger rates included in recent legislation provide substantially more extended benefits coverage of exhaustees than the IUR based trigger rates used in the permanent EB program and the current temporary benefits program. The report also finds that thresholds-that is, requirements that the current IUR or TUR exceed 120 or 110 percent of the average rate in the corresponding period during the previous two years-have a major impact on coverage. Substantially lower trigger rates are needed to provide the same coverage as a given trigger rate without a threshold.